I do not remember what I was dreaming about that day, but I do remember the look on Mary’s face as she woke me.
“What’s wrong?” I sat up.
Mary sat down on the bed and put her hands on my shoulders. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mr. Brown has been shot.”
“What?” I was stunned.
“Mr. Brown is dead,” she looked at me in naked terror.
“Oh Mary, what’s going to happen now?” I did not know what to expect, but Mary’s fear was all the warning I needed that it would not be pleasant.
She stood up, blinking away some tears, “Well we will have to get away from here. With Mr. Brown gone there will be a fight for power to fill the vacuum.”
“Will anybody be after us?” I asked trying to find what she was worried about.
“No we should be safe enough,” she replied. “But we’re moving out of here in any case. So get dressed and pack a light bag.”
She went into her room.
I got dressed and put a couple of changes of clothing, some make-up, a wash bag and a good pair of boots in a soft bag. Slinging it over my shoulder, I went into Mary’s room.
As I entered she was pushing a last few articles of clothing into her bag. She stood and held out a smart card to me, “Here, you might need this.”
I looked at it. It was the strangest S.C.A.R.P.S. card that I had ever seen. There was no writing on it, just a string of numbers. I turned it over in my hands then looked up at Mary, “What is this?”
“It’s just under half a Million creds. in a Swiss bank,” She smiled.
For the second time that morning I was stunned.
“Mr. Brown asked me to give it to you if anything ever happened to him.”
I looked down at the card. Then back at Mary, “But what about…?”
She smiled holding up a similar card, “One for each of us.”
I shrugged and put mine into my pocket.
Mary took up her bag and we went to get our coats.
“Where do we go now?” I asked as Mary unlocked the front door.
“You are to meet Jazz at her Apartment,” Mary reached into a pocket and took out a folded piece of paper. “Here is the address,” She handed it to me.
I looked down at the paper then back to Mary, “Where will you be?”
“I’ll meet both of you at that sandwich bar where we met Jazz the last time. She knows where to meet and will take you there.” She seemed ill at ease.
“Is there something wrong, Mary?” I put my hand on her shoulder.
She forced a smile and said, “No. Every thing is fine I just have some other business to do first.”
We put our coats on, left that house for the last time and went our separate ways.
It was an overcast October afternoon with a slight drizzle threatening. I found the correct alley on the third attempt. But it was with some trepidation that I approached her door, after all it was under very different circumstances from my first visit.
As I approached, I noticed that the window had been boarded up and when I climbed the stairs that her door was ajar. I paused a moment, unsure about the flat and about what I might find there. Then I summoned my courage and rang the bell. There was a pause; it seemed to last for ever. I began to think that ringing the bell must be easier the second time, though I was not quiet sure. Then the door opened and Jazz was in front of me.
I let out a sigh of relief, “Hi Jazz, it’s me.”
She smiled, “Hi Celia.” And looked around puzzled, “What are you doing here?”
“Mary said that I was to come,” I smiled back.
She looked back at me, “And where’s Mary?”
“She had something else to do,” I shrugged. “She said that she would meet us later at Harry’s sandwich bar.”
“OK,” Jazz looked around again. “Come on in.”
She turned and I followed behind her.
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